A Tender Touch
Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Author's Note: For some reason when I first began my Firefly obsession, I never really liked Inara. My favorite was and still is Zoë. A couple weeks ago I finally got over this senseless dislike and this fic popped into my head. Rating: NC-17


Serenity’s crew gathered in the kitchen. The Captain, first mate, mechanic and mercenary were all satisfied with their last job. They had flown for days, almost missing the planet where the cargo was to be dropped off. Badger had tossed the job their way, saying it wasn’t worth enough coin to hold his interest. It was worth more than enough coin to interest Mal and Zoë. Serenity picked it up and delivered it, no questions asked, no boxes opened. Now, with purses full and bodies weary, they made their way to the nearest planet. Mal had decided that they could all use some time off the boat. Inara was pleased at this because she was finally going to be able to accept a client or two.

After Serenity had been securely docked, everyone, minus Inara, headed for a neighborhood bar. The place was alive with local color and the crew seemed to blend right in. After a few rounds of drinks, Mal started a pool game with a couple other fellas while Kaylee was asked to dance by a nice looking stranger. Jayne…well…he was doing something that resembled dancing. Zoë sat at the bar, taking it all in. She laughed at Jayne and contemplated beating the captain at his own game and taking some of his coin from him. As much as she loved her brown leather vest, Zoë opted to wear a silk top her mother gave her, many years ago. It was brown (soon to become her favorite color, unbeknownst to her mother) with large ivory butterflies. Zoë wore her hair down, twirling a single curly strand in her fingers as she stared absently around the room.

“Careful Zo. You’re startin’ to resemble a lady over there!”

Jayne, who was in earshot of Mal’s comment, broke out in laughter. Even Kaylee giggled a bit, swooning over her dance partner.

What the hell? Zoë swallowed her rage, ignoring them, and became determined to have a good time. However, as the hour dragged on, that became harder and harder to do. Not that she was especially looking for someone, but Zoë had kinda hoped to meet some guy she could remotely be interested in that night. But the men that approached her were either too young, too old, to big or too small. One was even too pretty! She gave up. The others had found members of the opposite sex to occupy them, and that made her feel even worse. Zoë left the bar in a funk, boarding Serenity with plans to retreat to her bunk, write in her journal and sleep away her misery. She heard someone walking behind her.

“It’s only me!! I didn’t mean to startle you!”

Zoë holstered her guns, much to Inara’s relief.

“What are you doing here? I thought you had a client or something.”

“Unfortunately, the flu had other plans for my client. So, this trip proved to be quite unprofitable for me. Where are the others?”

“I left them at the bar.”

“Why? I thought all of you would be celebrating your last job. Is everything alright?”

Zoë turned her back to Inara. What was she supposed to say? That she felt terrible they were teasin’ her because she showed signs of actually being a woman? That out of all the men that she had met that night, none of them appealed to her? Inara would probably laugh. Here’s a woman, a companion, who has femininity dripping out of her ears and can have any man she wanted. Talk about complete opposites. Zoë turned back to face the woman.

“I just wasn’t up to it. Tired, is all.”

Seeing right through the façade, Inara gently took Zoë’s hand in her own and brushed a few stray curls from the warrior’s face. She spoke softly, and nearly brought Zoë to tears.

“I know, bao bei, I know. You take care of everyone on this ship but yourself. Of course you’re tired. That fierce warrior has concealed your elegant beauty; please allow me to uncover it.”

Zoë followed willingly as they made their way to Inara’s shuttle. Candles were lit around the room, giving it a starry effect. A porcelain tub with warm water was prepared, placed in the middle of the shuttle.

“I was about to give myself a sponge bath, but it would give me more pleasure to wash you.”

Inara caressed the silk top as she brought it over Zoë’s head. She knelt down to unlace her boots as Zoë eased down her trousers. Inara stepped back and admired her muscular, lithe body. The candlelight softened her curves and her skin shimmered like bronze. Taking a pin out of her own curls, Inara placed her arms around Zoë’s neck and pinned her hair loosely up, with a few escaping strands. The two women were face to face, feeding each other’s gaze…

Zoë kneeled next to the tub, feeling herself unwind. After removing her shawl and jewelry, Inara took her place next to Zoë and drizzled calming lavender oil into the tub; the aroma filled the room. She took up the sponge from the water and massaged it over Zoë’s taut shoulders. A pleasant moan escaped her lips. The companion worked her magic down her back and up her arms, taking great care and applying just enough pressure to ease Zoë’s stiff muscles. She dunked the sponge back into the water and prepared to attend to the front of the woman’s body. Starting with her neck, she made her way down. The sponge glided down the smooth, mocha skin, stopping just above Zoë’s chest. Inara delicately cupped each breast with one hand and bathed it with the other. Zoë reached around the companion and removed the remaining pins, allowing her hair to tumble about her shoulders. She let her fingers play in Inara’s hair as she reveled in the joy of being pampered. Arousal accompanied that joy. Zoë’s body came alive with feelings she hadn’t been familiar with for a long time. She arched her back unconsciously; Inara smiled, pleased with her response.

She coaxed Zoë down until she was lying flat on her back. Inara slipped out of her dress and returned, naked, to her knees beside Zoë. As she worked the sponge on Zoë’s feet, she swept her hair to the opposite side of her body, allowing Zoë full view of her gorgeous physique. The water was cool now, but Zoë afforded it no attention. Her mind wandered, giving her senses full reign. As Inara moved up her thighs, Zoë reached out weakly to stay her hand. With all the strength she possessed, Zoë’s feeble attempt did little to mask her desire. Inara brushed her hand away and lay on her side, propping herself up on her elbow. The sponge reached its final destination and so did Inara’s lips, finding Zoë’s mouth. Beneath those luscious lips, Zoë’s moans became engulfed and her mouth succumbed to the companion’s. Inara took care of her in the one area that was undeniably female. She held the Amazon down as she peaked, feeling pleasure tremors running through her body. Zoë lay spent as Inara whispered soothing words into her ear, kissing it intermittently. She rolled onto her side and Inara wrapped her arms around her, holding her tightly.

“Thank you, Inara.”

“My pleasure.”

The next morning as Zoë left Inara’s shuttle, Jayne and Mal were on their way to the bridge. They watched as the women embraced and parted ways.

“Wasn’t Zoë wearin’ that same shirt last night?”

“Uhh…yeah. Mal, what d’ya ‘spose they was doin in there?”

The men looked at each other.

“I gotta go…”

“Yeah, me too…”

They each scurried off in different directions to…get to their bunks.


“Honey, what’s the matter? Did you have a nightmare?”

Wash was sitting up in the bed, shaking his head in disbelief.

“No, no nightmares here! Lambie toes, how about a sponge bath?”

“A what? But it’s the middle of the sleep cycle. Besides, you know we have to meet with Badger tomorrow and I need all my strength to deal with Mal when everything goes sour, like it usually does. Why, husband? You feelin’ dirty?”

“You could say that…”

Wash tried to keep a grin off his face as he took his wife into his arms. No ruttin’ companion was gonna show up this Leaf, dream or not!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:46 PM


oh, that wash and his dirty (clean?) dreams. seriously though, i could see inara comforting zoe after losing him. very sweet!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:44 PM


lol...that's such a guy dream. :)

Friday, March 17, 2006 9:40 PM


ha, i loved that ending! i could totally picture Wash dreaming something like that up!LMAO!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:25 AM


heehee...naughty wash!!



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A Tender Touch
Author's Note: For some reason when I first began my Firefly obsession, I never really liked Inara. My favorite was and still is Zoë. A couple weeks ago I finally got over this senseless dislike and this fic popped into my head.
Rating: NC-17

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